Wexford Festival Opera amends 2012 Festival Programme
Wexford Festival Opera, renowned for staging rarely-performed or unjustly neglected operas, had hoped to produce Francesca da Rimini by Saverio Mercadante at the 2012 Festival. Although Francesca da Rimini was written in 1831 it had never been performed, as the opera house it was written for burned to the ground before the opera could be produced. While a hand-written manuscript of the opera is in existence, it has never been printed. Attempts by Wexford Festival Opera to have a critical performing edition of the manuscript published in time for the 2012 Festival became fraught with unanticipated difficulties and forced the organisation to change its plans.
However, Artistic Director David Agler has several operas waiting in the wings and is delighted to announce that the rarely-performed Italian opera, L’Arlesiana by Francesco Cilèa will now open the 61st Wexford Festival Opera on Wednesday, 24 October, 2012.
L’Arlesiana is a melodrama in three acts to a libretto by Leopoldo Marenco, first performed on 27 November 1897 at the Teatro Lirico di Milano in Milan. L’Arlesiana tells the story of Federico, a farmer, who is madly in love with a woman from the village of Arles (l’arlesiana) and becomes entangled in a love-triangle. The opera is based on the play L’Arlésienne (1872) by Alphonse Daudet. Soon after its première, L’Arlesiana fell into oblivion but enjoyed a revival in the 1930s when it benefited from political support through Cilèa’s personal contact with Mussolini. While the opera as a whole isn’t well-known, most opera-lovers will be familiar with the tenor aria, È la solita storia.
Wexford Festival Opera will also stage Le Roi malgré lui by Emmanuel Chabrier, sung in French and A Village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius, sung in English as originally announced. Full details of the creative teams and cast will be announced shortly, as will the details of the daytime performances of ShortWork operas, concerts and recitals.
The 61st Wexford Festival Opera is grant-aided by the Arts Council, Fáilte Ireland, and Wexford County & Borough Councils.
61st Wexford Festival Opera
Wednesday, 24 October – Sunday, 4 November, 2012
PRIORITY BOOKING commences Tuesday, 8 May, 2012
GENERAL BOOKING commences Tuesday, 5 June, 2012
L’Arlesiana by Francesco Cilèa (1866 – 1950)
24, 27, 30 October, 2 November
Le Roi malgré lui by Emmanuel Chabrier (1841 - 1894)
25, 28, 31 October, 3 November
A Village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius (1862 - 1934)
26, 29 October, 1, 4 November